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For widow, family & funeral of Kwame Ansah-Brew

$4,310 of $20,000 goal

Raised by 68 people in 1 month
We have lost a great friend, a wonderful husband and father, uncle and son, and a remarkable performing and teaching artist who will be long remembered for his positive and lasting impact on so many lives. 

Many of us know Kwame Ansah-Brew from his years of performing as "Anansegromma of Ghana" with Kofi Dennis, and for his founding of the nonprofit Performing Arts Center for African Cultures (PACAC). We are deeply saddened by his sudden and unexpected passing on June 7. 

Our goal is to raise funds for Kwame's widow Josephine and their three children, and to help cover the funeral and burial costs.  We would be so grateful for any amount you can contribute.

Many thanks in advance.

Busy Graham and friends of Kwame

Read Claire Schwadron's remembrance of Kwame here: http://campaign.r20.constantcontact.com/render?m=1118656444499&ca=70747b80-207c-4527-b69e-08e9eb5aed54
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We are grateful to everyone who has contributed thus far to the fund in honor of Kwame Ansah-Brew--and in support of Kwame's widow Josephine and their three children. We still have a ways to go to cover costs related to the funeral, and for other family needs during this difficult time.

Please consider making a contribution if you haven't already. The funeral rites will be held this coming Friday, July 5, followed by the burial service on Saturday, July 6, and Thanksgiving on Sunday, July 7. See announcement for details.

It would be so great if we could closer to reaching our goal before July 5. Please help spread the word to others who might wish to contribute. Many thanks.
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Many thanks to everyone who has already contributed to the fund in support of Kwame’s family. We hope to regain some momentum and reach our goal within the next few weeks.

I am passing along this message from the Maryland State Arts Council, with a moving tribute to Kwame Ansah-Brew -- written by Rory Turner, co-founder of Maryland Traditions and professor at Goucher College.

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From the MSAC, June 17, 2019:
Kwame Ansah-Brew, master percussionist and founding director of the Performing Arts Center for African Cultures, has passed away. We send our deepest condolences to his loved ones.

Maryland Traditions co-founder Professor Rory Turner remembers Kwame below.

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It is with great sadness that we share the news that Kwame Ansah-Brew passed away on June 7, 2019. He was 51 years old. Kwame was an extraordinary man and an extraordinary musician and teacher who brought his love to thousands of people as a performer, arts educator, and professor.

Born and raised in the Akyem Abuakwa Kingdom in Ghana, he began his life as a musician as a seven-year-old boy when he was selected to serve as a royal drummer for his Chief. He received a Teacher’s Certificate from the Presbyterian Training College and a Diploma in Theatre Arts at the School of Performing Arts University of Ghana, Legon and went on to earn his MA in Dance at the State University of New York, Brockport.

With Kofi Dennis, he formed Anansegromma of Ghana, which performed widely, working with children in more than 350 schools as a participant in Artivate’s roster of arts educators.

In 2014, he founded the Performing Arts Center for African Culture. He taught African Drumming and Dance from 1997 to 2014 at Goucher College, and African Studies and performing arts courses at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County until his untimely death.

Kwame Ansah-Brew was a performer, presenter, and teacher in dozens of residencies and projects at organizations including the Wolf Trap Institute, the Smithsonian, and the Kennedy Center.

He received numerous awards and was a proud recipient of attaining master status through the Maryland Traditions Apprenticeship Award. He founded and led the musical ensemble Fritete, and, with them and in solo work, produced several CDs.

Perhaps Kwame's proudest moment was playing the royal drums for Secretary-General Kofi Annan at the United Nations. He was a cherished member of the Agape Life Ministries Church in Laurel, Maryland. He is survived by his wife Josephine and three children.

All who knew Kwame were deeply touched by his unique and loving presence. He was a force for good in the world, and a brilliant musician, accomplished on a number of instruments in a number of styles.

Brilliant, insightful, highly creative, Kwame really connected with people and was profoundly generous and giving. He was a true friend to many of us, and his influence will live on.

When a person of stature passes away in Akan tradition, they say: “A Great Tree has Fallen.” Indeed it has.

Rory Turner, Goucher College

PHOTO: Kwame Ansah-Brew leading a dance class at the 2017 Maryland Traditions Folklife Festival in Baltimore. Photo by Edwin Remsberg Photographs.
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It was just over two weeks ago that our friend Kwame Ansah-Brew passed away.

As many of you know, Kwame collapsed just as he was going out on stage to perform at an event on May 30, the day before his youngest daughter’s graduation from high school.

He went into a coma and never came out of it before passing away on June 7--the same morning that he had been scheduled to participate in a symposium with Claire Schwadron and Project Youth ArtReach/Artivate about Arts in Corrections as part of the Maryland Arts Summit at UMBC.

Kwame’s work with Kofi Dennis in performing as the popular “Anansegromma” in many area schools and communities, also included the leading of drum circles in correctional facilities and youth detention centers.

Kofi and Kwame’s work is documented in a powerful short film created by Adam Kampe for the National Endowment for the Arts-- which remains one of the most watched videos on the NEA website.

www.arts.gov/video/temporarily-free-project-youth-artreach-brings-arts-jail
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This is our third day of fundraising to meet the immediate needs of Kwame Ansah-Brew’s family after his passing last week. Our goal is to help Kwame’s family to cover the burial costs and other expenses related to his sudden passing.

Like many performing and teaching artists, Kwame did not have life insurance, and was in the midst of paying off debts related to his nonprofit Performing Arts Center for African Cultures (PACAC).

Attached is a photo from yesterday’s memorial drum circle for Kwame, outside the PACAC.

Thank you for your generosity in contributing to the fund.
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$4,310 of $20,000 goal

Raised by 68 people in 1 month
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